New Works

Still doing art and mom stuff. Little girl is getting big! She can make scribbles and do creative things now. Her favorite thing, to my chagrin, is playing on my iPad. She seems to be obsessed. If she sees anyone with a smart phone or iPad, she wants to commandeer it. Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids play with those things he developed. I think as long as it is limited, it’s okay. It’s a part of learning in the tech age. Kids gotta know how to operate these things and my little one, at 20 months has been doing a good job at navigating and playing toddler games and watching YouTube Kids. She also loves to play outside and pick flowers and be a little girl. Dandelions are her favorite. She also likes maple tree propellers.

O, dandelion! Dandelion! How lovely are you, lovely dandelion!
O, dandelion! Dandelion! How lovely are you, lovely dandelion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch out, kitty cats. She wants to see you, too. Her big teddy bear is Floyd the dog. I look at photos of her last year and I see a totally different entity. That’s my daughter? When she was a baby, yes. Now she’s an actual toddler, doing all these things at such a quick rate, I can hardly believe it. To be an artist, in some ways, it’s been more difficult to get much work done. In other ways, it has pushed me to actually do it. My recent foray is writing. I actually wrote a review on Sennelier oil pastels. I have been looking into adding writing to my resume, so I now have a start. When I’m not trying, when I think no one is watching, I can write all over the place, with aplomb. On stage, like my blog for instance, I sort of freeze up. It is what it is.

Without further ado, and the reason I’m posting again, here are my newest works.

When your kitten decides to make your curly, red hair a nice bed.
When your kitten decides to make your curly, red hair a nice bed.

 

One of the kid's favorite foods. This was a demo in my art product review.
One of the kid’s favorite foods. This was a demo in my art product review.
Advertisements
New Works

How to Manage the Love/Hate Relationship with Creativity

It has been tooooo long. TOOOOO long! (as my favorite character, Louise Belcher, might say.) I went from daily-painter-mama to freelance-worker-mama, not taking time to post on the blog for toooo long. Well, landing some freelance is all it took to put my painting on hiatus. I also just got back from vacation! An actual ‘get on the plane and go to the beach’ vacation. It was to celebrate baby’s first birthday.

And now I’m back – almost refreshed. Still recharging. Which leads me to this article, which leads me to returning to my blog in some way, even if it isn’t for art this time.

Today, I am re-blogging this very helpful article for the creatives out there, and you left-brained people. too. I hope it can help anyone searching for some insight.

How to Manage the Love/Hate Relationship with Creativity

Shell Seeker Mama

Some pretty Calico Scallop and a couple of Cat's Eye seashells that I keep in my tarnished silver poppy bowl from Westport Flea Market.
Some pretty Calico Scallop and a couple of Cat’s Eye seashells that I keep in my tarnished silver poppy bowl from Westport Flea Market.

Today is my baby girl’s ten month birth date and today’s painting is in celebration of that. Last March, the family went to Florida so baby girl’s grandparents could see her. It was her first plane ride and she did so well. We met Grandpa at the airport and he drove us to their villa by the beach. I’d wondered what baby’s reaction to the beach would be, at seven months, and it was ‘meh.’ I still had fun, though. She’ll like it much better when she gets older and can run around and have fun.

After breakfast at this really neat place in Indian Harbor, by the grandparent’s, called “Sun on the Beach,” we took a walk along the shore and I picked out shells, with my girl in mind. I picked up the pinkest ones I could find. Most were Calico Scallops and I found two Cat’s Eye seashells. They are a sweet little memento from our first trip as a family.

Shell Seeker Mama

Lawrence “Larry” McDoo, WWI Pigeon Spy

This is Larry, based on writer Andrea Scott's description of Dr. N's Pigeons.
This is Larry, based on writer Andrea Scott’s description of Dr. N’s Pigeons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HitRECord is a collaborative web site for all those creatives out there. Check it out! It is the only entity of it’s kind, started by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Maybe you’ve seen Third Rock from the Sun. He’s the young fella in the show, only he’s all grown up and in his 30s now and has done several independent films. He came up with this huge idea where writers, artists, photographers and the list goes on, throw their hats in the ring on various collaborations for their television show. It’s so multi-layered I can’t even begin to describe it all in the few minutes I have right now. Just check out hitrecord.org! It is fascinating!

For my little contribution, I made a visual for “Dr. N’s Pigeon Spies”

Lawrence “Larry” McDoo, WWI Pigeon Spy

Red Clovers Charging

Still Life with Red Clovers and iPhone Charger Cord
Still Life with Red Clovers and iPhone Charger Cord

The lawn needs to be mowed something fierce. For the past two weekends we’ve been rained out, which makes it really easy to put off mowing the lawn. But that’s okay. When my baby girl and I were outside getting some sunshine and fresh air, I found some red clover growing along the deck and picked a couple.

And so, as I was setting up for today’s painting, things were going pretty good with the painting, until Jack the cat decides he wants to have a seat. On my still life setting? Oh, how nice, you crazy cat. I suppose he improved everything, as my phone’s charger cord was placed on the clovers by his fluffy butt.

Jack the Maine Coon Kitty
“There, now it’s finished. You’re welcome.” – Jack
Red Clovers Charging

A Study of STUDY IN GRAY AND GREEN

Today’s piece is from a photograph on Jnana’s Red Barn, a WordPress blog that I follow. This blog is good reading and the photos are really nice. I would call them cinematic, and so, two thumbs up!

"The shot was taken from a pedestrian bridge as I looked down toward the river."
“The shot was taken from a pedestrian bridge as I looked down toward the river.” —Jnana Hodson on his photograph

Over the course of doing a painting a day (or close to it) I knew I’d be showing different approaches and subject matter. I create paintings, I do illustrations. I’ll paint realistically, still life, semi-abstract, images from imagination, self portrait, cat portrait… I don’t know if it’s necessarily a great thing or not. It just is what it is and I try to make it all cohesive somehow. My groove lately has been painting over printed media. I love how the ground of a photograph and typography influences the paintwork that lands on it.

And as for media, I started painting-a-day in oils, but they are messy and the fumes aren’t healthy, either. I graduated from them to egg tempera, which I like a lot, and acrylic with a little pencil mixed in. I also gravitate towards mix media. For me, these media bring movement and ‘verve’ (Thank you, Painting Professor Jack Hughes) to my paintings and drawings.

A Study of STUDY IN GRAY AND GREEN

Green Windhorse

Next in my Windhorse Tibetan prayer flag series is green. It symbolizes air. I have one more to complete the front side of my flag series. After that, I start again with blue and when I finish the other side, I’m gathering all the flags on a string or hanging wire, then hanging them from the gallery moulding in my living room. It will look nice and bring good energy.

First in the prayer flag series was blue, then white, then red, now green. The last will be yellow.
First in the prayer flag series was blue, then white, then red, now green. The last will be yellow.
Green Windhorse

Mask

Today’s Illustration Friday topic is Mask and I had it all planned rather quickly, unlike last week’s topic, Contraption. This week, up until today, was a contraption or full of contraptions or whatever. Baby girl is all over the place and making her mama busy and tired, tired and busy! She is lucky she’s so cute.

Get it? A mask with a mask!
Get it? A mask with a mask!
Mask

Paging Dr. Floyd Falafel

Paging Dr. Floyd Falafel! I have a theory on why you see – or at least I see – so many art pieces of birds. They are symbolic and hold special meaning for so many things, usually the human spirit. Today’s painting is of a special visitor, a purple finch, at the hospital window of a patient and his wife, who is my friend. She named her frequent and chatty visitor Dr. Floyd Falafel and today’s painting is for her and healing and the human spirit!

Hello, I'm Dr. Floyd Falafel. How are we feeling today? I've come to cheer you up!
Hello, I’m Dr. Floyd Falafel. How are we feeling today? I’ve come to cheer you up!
Paging Dr. Floyd Falafel

Temptation

This week has been a whirlwind of learning to crawl and stand, playing, eating a cornucopia of foods pureed and bite size, waking up every two hours in the middle of night to eat and play, and so on… Instead of painting during the day, while baby girl naps (yeah, when is that happening anymore), I’m either cleaning up or napping with her. So, anyway, without further ado, today is Thursday and the painting for today is actually for Illustration Friday! The topic, announced last Friday, where you have a week to create an illustration, is Temptation.

You have a cake stand and what is just as tempting or more so than a cake? An adorable wedge heel in delicious colors!
You have a cake stand and what is just as tempting or more so than a cake? An adorable wedge heel in delicious colors!

 

<p>

I found this little beauty on Facebook, so Facebook strikes again in inspiring me to paint. It looks like one of my FB connections is on vacation in British Columbia, window-shopping perhaps, and took a photo of all these shoes that are so adorable. I may just paint more of these because I’m feelin’ like Andy Warhol!<>

Temptation

Finch Bird Charm

What do you call a group of finches? Why, yes! A group of finches is called a charm and I think that’s really sweet. One of my good artist friends always had a couple of finches in a cage in his studio space. They have these rather unique chirps, sounds like wood creaking or something like that. They were cute little fellas and so a charm of finches sounds rather fitting.

A painting of a finch from my imagination.
A painting of a finch from my imagination.

This time, I painted with acrylics. Painting with them makes it much easier to work on a larger scale because the drying time is greatly reduced. I love painting with oils, but they do get muddy and take a while longer to dry. Each has their own positives and negatives but I believe oils have the advantage. They are sumptuous and romantic. Acrylics are immediate and fun. They are the cheap date of paints!

Finch Bird Charm

Gwen’s Lion

I wasn’t sure what to paint today. I took a few photos and decided on Jack, my Maine Coon kitty, who I think is very handsome. He is also Gwen’s Lion. He loves baby girl and it completely touches my heart. I’ve always been crazy about that cat, but ever since being pregnant and then ultimately having baby girl here, Jack the cat has been the most greatest cat ever and I’m even more crazy about him.

Jack the lion kitty at rest on a Thursday morning. It's hard work being such a fantastic cat.
Jack the lion kitty at rest on a Thursday morning. It’s hard work being such a fantastic cat.

Gwen’s Lion

Caged Bird Singing

Today's painting is dedicated to Maya Angelou.
Today’s painting is dedicated to Maya Angelou.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Different approach to painting today, in a few ways:

One: It was not during baby’s nap time, but after her nap, play and bath. I sat her in her chair, painted and played with her, both at the same time. Well, at least at first. Then I just let her cry herself to sleep. She didn’t love that I was not giving her my undivided attention, and that’s okay. She’s at the age where she needs to learn patience and that she isn’t the only cute baby girl in the world (smile.) It wasn’t forever, as I painted it pretty quickly.

No one loves me, so I'll just go to sleep.
Forget you, Mommy. I’ll just have a fussy nap.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Two: It is based on Maya Angelou’s passing, so it’s more of an illustration painting, rather than just a painting painting.

Three: It’s not in oil this time. This one is egg tempera, which I’ve used before, long ago in school. I like painting with egg temperas. I was starting it all out with oils, but then found hubby’s paints and used them instead. They are MY paints NOW! heeheeheee.

Rest in peace, Ms. Angelou. I know your soul is soaring now.

Caged Bird Singing

Self Portrait

I participated in another creative quickie, somewhat like my last post. This time it’s with The Sketchbook Project web site, which has a weekly challenge, titled Challenge Accepted! for 1,000 people to enter. So far, it looks like ‘two-hundred-something’ that have signed up. This week’s challenge is “Self Portrait Without a Mirror.”

My painterly depiction of myself.
My painterly depiction of myself.

Don’t I look scrummy? I tried to capture the essence that is moi, which includes my rosy complexion, my slight jowls, my double chin (or, my less than sculpted jawline), my full cheeks, and my lively blue eyes that are lively because I’m a painting mama, virtually every day!

Self Portrait

Illustration Friday

Every Friday is Illustration Friday, a little idea that began in 2003 and became pretty big not long after that. It is a community artist/illustrator blog started by super duper freelance illustrator, Penelope Dullaghan and she is now teamed up with some fantastic, fellow freelance illustrators who make it run today. Go there to check out the art and talk to other artists! Share your masterpieces! The team at Illustration Friday often feature and interview world class illustrators and it’s just a great site to learn all kinds of amazing things about the illustration world.

This week’s topic is “Universe” and is my painting for today. Since it’s an illustration it has turned out to be a touch different from my oil paintings I’ve been showing. In the future, I’d like to continue participating in IF and have my pieces go along more with my oil paintings.

This week's topic that is also martini-inspired.
This week’s topic that is also martini-inspired.
Illustration Friday

After Four Days?

Yes, it’s been four days since I last posted. I had another project that needed my undivided attention, outside of taking care of baby. Baby has been wearing me out more lately, btw. She’s teething. She’s growing mentally and physically really fast I can’t take it! She’s going to be walking soon. She’ll be nine months old in a couple days and yet it seems like yesterday sometimes that she was this mushy, squishy, sleeping, milk-drinking, non-focusing infant. Now she’s exhibiting toddler-like qualities. She’s a smart and strong baby and I think she’s quite cute, even with the screaming at the top of her lungs, because she can. We shared fresh, sugar baby watermelon today.

We are preparing for Memorial Day weekend by digging into some delicious watermelon.
We are preparing for Memorial Day weekend by digging into some delicious watermelon.
After Four Days?

Floyd, day 15

My dog, Floyd the dog.
My dog, Floyd the dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, which is not really how I went about this piece today. I played around and made a mess during little baby girl’s nap, then got all tangled up in thoughts and paint and paper. When baby woke up, that was the best excuse to step away from it for a few hours. Then, after those few hours, we went on the family dog walk – Me and Joonbug, Dada with baby strapped to Dada in her Baby Bjorn and Floyd the dog on leash. Today’s work is a moment in time, featuring Mr. Floyd the Dog, our big bear puppy.

But not before I watched this video, which features Elizabeth Murray. She said a lot of things that resonated with me, which helps express my feelings on painting much of the time.

Floyd, day 15

Windhorse, day 14

My second Windhorse painting, representing wind or air
My second Windhorse painting, representing wind or air

WOW, things have transformed in the two weeks of “Painting A Day.” I said it would happen. I know me and my painting and drawing approach. So far, things are happening as I’d thought. Well, in a way. I am still open to surprises and changes in my work that should continue. Heck, I’ve learned that even though I make plans and intend to keep them, that doesn’t mean it’s 100%. Stuff happens and you respond accordingly. With that in mind, I’m excited about PAD and the possibilities and how this will develop.

Windhorse, day 14

Vintage Industrial Office Chair, days 12 -13

One of my favorite office chairs – a piece of art, in my opinion.
One of my favorite office chairs – a piece of art, in my opinion.

Another bump in the road, if you will. This time, I painted yesterday’s (day 12) painting, and went on to bed because I was beaten to a pulp. And then, the next day – today – during little girl baby’s nap, I decided I needed to go ahead and keep on painting and marking on it. Then I wiped some off, painted over some spots. Wiped some of it off again, then finally decided to let it be. Here it is!
Oh, I could go on about my thoughts on this process that’s been going on for almost two weeks now. Sometimes I’m super into it, and the feelings ebb and flow and wane and sometimes I figure I should just drop it. But, nah. I’ll keep going.

Vintage Industrial Office Chair, days 12 -13

Dorothy’s Poppies for day 10

More poppies, poppies, poppies
More poppies, poppies, poppies

Egads, I missed my painting-a-day (PAD) yesterday. It was my very first of many, many, many, many times 50 Mother’s Days, after all.

But just because I didn’t post doesn’t mean I did not paint! I did! Anyway, this is actually more me – it’s even a continuation of the series I’ve been working on outside of (PAD). I’d started this series by using oil pastels to paint onto printed material. I believe I will incorporate this mode (using paint instead of oil pastels) into my new painting a day way of life. That’s what I’m thinking…

Dorothy’s Poppies for day 10

Dorothy’s Poppies, day 9

Abstract of a poppies close up.
Abstract of a poppies close up.

Today was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. To celebrate my very first Mother’s Day weekend, my husband and I, along with our eight and a half month old baby girl in stroller, went for a long walk to Pizza 51. We each had a slice and shared a pitcher of ale, except for baby, of course. She had a bottle of milk and a sippy cup of water she chewed on. On the walk back, we took pictures of a neighbor’s poppy spread. I know of these poppies. They come up every year and I had always wanted to photograph them. I finally did this year so I could have inspiration for my painting today.
My neighbor's poppy flowers. So orange and green and beautiful.
My neighbor’s poppy flowers. So orange and green and beautiful.

Dorothy’s Poppies, day 9

Windhorse, day 8

This is a craypa drawing, using a West Elm catalog cover as the ground.
This is a craypa drawing, using a West Elm catalog cover as the ground.

There is no painting today. Baby girl wasn’t having it. There was no nap. She wasn’t really hungry either. She feels just fine. She just wanted to play and do stuff. Maybe have some milk. We finally put her to bed at 9pm and then we could have dinner. Weird day today. Methinks she’s having a growth spurt. I read a little bit about “sunny weeks” and “wonder weeks”. Long story short, I think she may be starting a wonder week. She’s been a lot of fun, if not a bit of a brat and I’ll admit right now that it threw me off completely this day.

On that note, I still have something to post today. It’s an oil pastel drawing of a windhorse, on a West Elm catalog. It’s something I’ve been doing. I’m thinking of making a prayer flag series with these media.

I’m beat. It’s Friday night. I’m having a glass of wine and then I’m hitting the hay.

Windhorse, day 8

Apple Trio, day 7

A quick study of a healthy snack.
A quick study of a healthy snack.

It’s been a week of painting a day. While I did today’s work, I continued to be in the moment, relax, focus and enjoy while I think about future work for day paintings. While I enjoy doing still life painting, I’m not really a still life painter. I’m getting my feet wet and letting the act of painting still life set things up for other ideas, as mentioned in different ways this week. While raising baby! The experiment! It’s working pretty well and I see it continuing (famous last words.) This is how Painting A Day guru, Carol Marine got started! She’s coming out with another book and I will have to check it out.

Apple Trio, day 7

Propellers and Paper, day 5

Propellers from a maple tree are so neat. Enjoy!
Propellers from a maple tree are so neat. Enjoy!

Today’s painting is a tip of the hat to Duane Keiser, THE person that started the painting-a-day movement. One piece of his inspired me to make today’s painting. Mine are of ‘helicopters’, Keiser’s is of pistachios and it is rockin’. I’ve also been trying to keep certain things in mind as I do paintings a day, while my baby girl naps in the morning – keep cool, calm and relaxed, even when I am being a “Messy Marvin”, as I call my baby when she’s eating. I am so sloppy when I paint and end up with the stuff all over me and my brushes, but I digress. I’m also trying to keep in mind, that through staying relaxed, I can better reach my voice; my painting voice. I did pretty good today, although I believe I have a little way to go, trying to work through the rust and baby crying and cooing.

My other inspiration for painting the propellers, or helicopters, again have to do with trees at my home. Here is a “Vine” I made.

As I was walking in from a shopping trip, I heard the maple seeds moving in the breeze. They sounded like hundreds of little wooden chimes. I do love maple tree helicopters.

Propellers and Paper, day 5

Dogwood Flowers, day 4

My dogwood tree is in bloom now! I love my dogwood tree.
My dogwood tree is in bloom now! I love my dogwood tree.

Today’s painting is of a dogwood flower cutting. Did you know that dogwood flowers aren’t really flowers? Well, not like you may think. They are similar to the poinsettia, in that the little yellow thingies in the middle are the flowers. The “petals” are really leaves. Unlike the dogwood (or poinsettia), real flower heads have an odd number of petals that really are petals, so no need for parentheses around the word this time.

And that is my scientific report on dogwood flowers.

The inspiration for today’s piece comes from the dogwood tree in my front yard, which is looking very pretty nowadays, with the blooms and green teardrop leaves. Soon, the white leaves will fall to the ground, and in fall, the foliage will turn a gorgeous, deep shade of red. I love spring and fall in my town. I hate winter and am so glad it’s over, although when it snows, everything is so quiet and beautiful, but then it gets all grimy and icy and crappy again. Summer can be a real bitch, too what with the heat and crazy humidity, with nary a breeze for any kind of relief.

But, back to now. Spring. Springtime in KC is so sweet. Flowers and flowering trees and bushes everywhere, fresh air and bunny rabbits and birds and sunshine.

Dogwood Flowers, day 4

Future Mixed Drink Still Life – day 3

It’s not as spontaneous as I would have liked, but it came out okay. I think I could make a nice cocktail with these ingredients.
It’s not as spontaneous as I would have liked, but it came out okay. I think I could make a nice cocktail with these ingredients.

 

step 1: For the “ground”, I took my old paint palette from my previous painting and mixed all the remaining paint together, which made a warm, dark gray.
step 2: I mixed a new palette and started with red on a small brush to begin a quick sketch. Why did I use red? I dunno. Trying to be spontaneous.
step 3: Red sketch and beginning of paint application.
step 4: Almost done.
Future Mixed Drink Still Life – day 3

Simple Still Life, day 2

While hubby was out mowing the lawn, I cut a lovely lilac from the bush by the front porch. They smell so lovely. Then it stormed for the rest of the day. Perfect time to stay inside and paint.
While hubby was out mowing the lawn, I cut a lovely lilac from the bush by the front porch. They smell so lovely. Then it stormed for the rest of the day. Perfect time to stay inside and paint.

My paintings, to my chagrin, take on different modes and styles. Right now, they are traditional still life subjects, but you wait. Next thing, it will be an abstract piece, or more of an expressionist piece of a mythological creature. One of my favorite artists of all time is Willem de Kooning. I also love Vincent Van Gogh and Franz Kline and George Baselitz, Elizabeth Murray, Jennifer Bartlett and the list goes on.

At the moment, I’m letting myself just paint and enjoy it, making it look spontaneous, yet still and holding onto realism. It’s a good exercise for me and exercise is good! It actually takes work to do this type of painting with a still mind and few brushstrokes, keeping myself from overworking the piece into a stiff, muddy mess. The idea behind this exercise is to sweep out some of the rust and really make some sweet, shiny painting gems!

Oh, and – being a mama painter, I have to paint safe. No more smelly solvents and toxic paints. Keep paint off skin, wash up well, and stay safe, painter parents!

 

Simple Still Life, day 2

and so it begins, part 2

Last I left off, I announced to my blog that I was expecting a lil baby and that things were going well and that life made a humongous turn. Life has a way of doing that. Doing that a lot, lately. So after my announcement, I worked on growing a healthy baby girl and preparing for a stress-free birth. I have to admit, I was so nervous about having a baby – a happy surprise baby, but a surprise baby nonetheless. At my age, too. But, you know what? Despite all the hurdles, I had help and everything went swimmingly! From pregnancy, to giving birth, to being a new mama, things have just been fantastic. I thank everyone around me and pat myself on the back, as well. I was mostly afraid of the giving birth part, but at the same time, tried to envision and meditate on it, with success. The pain of labor was manageable and my girl came into the world in about seven hours! Full term, no complications whatsoever and I’m so glad it’s over and can look back on it and write about it with happiness and pride and a million other feelings that come with being a new mom. I am now raising a smart, strong, healthy, gorgeous baby girl… and trying to add my new identity of mother to my identity as artist, without either one overtaking the other. It is way easy to forget yourself, am I right, parents? Especially in the beginning. Especially for mom. Especially for me as a mom, who grew up Catholic, all too familiar with the guilt feelings that Catholics are good at, and on top of that, mamas. It’s all too easy, from my observations. But, let’s set that all aside and get on with it! Time to get to work! Be an artist AND a mama!

So, okay. I’m doing art, as in painting, and am embarking on the painting a day phenomenon. It’s a phenomenon to me, anyway and it’s a major challenge I’m giving myself. I’ve been painting every day for the past week. I’ve also been setting up and making preparations. Mostly I do this during baby nap time. That’s part of the deal.

My first creation for painting-a-day!
My first creation for painting-a-day!

I have been drawing and painting since I was three years old. I went to art school; the whole nine yards. It is in my blood. I come from an extended family of artists. There’s really no way to deny it. Now that I have my young one, I’m reminded of that even more. Heck, I suspect she may show artistic talent when she gets older. Speaking of, she’s waking up from her nap so let’s leave it here til next time!

and so it begins, part 2

Last Call For Alcohol

LastCall

 

Alright, then. I’m back. After a blog hiatus. But, it’s for a fairly good reason, as my life has gone through a major flip; a milestone type of thing. I go from Life in 140 Characters to something different. Just a little bit, to put it mildly. It is more personal and I’m going to try and blog about it, while keeping this my art blog. It’s just that it’s now coming from a different angle; a more specific, personal inspiration.

So, last I was here, I was making drawings and paintings and showing them. I had two shows on April First Fridays in the Crossroads in my town. And, on that First Fridays afternoon, I was on site, where I’m having a couple paintings on display. I am helping to hang and put some things together for the big mobile truck where a few other local artists are showing. I’m bending and stooping and jumping and climbing. Through this, I’m wondering why I feel so odd and so worn out by the end of the day. I didn’t attend my own little show here or at the other locale where I had some art showing. Long story short, for weeks prior, I’d been having moments of suspicion and moments of clarity, but always managed to set it aside into the denial category. I am about 5 months pregnant! I don’t find out for sure until a week later, though. I was in denial through the morning sickness and missed cycles, etc. I chalked it up to stress and middle age. I am forty four years old and pregnant? What are the odds? They are remote, supposedly, yet here I am!

Currently, I’m in the third portion of this milestone. I’ve been getting my prenatal visits taken care of and everything is going very well. My husband and I saw her on the black and white screen and she is a dream to us. A lovely dream that has come true – since the shock has worn off, of course. That’s another reason I’ve been on hiatus! I’m getting everything ready for a little one, which includes making art! I am a bit overwhelmed! My husband and I both are anxiously awaiting and preparing for a big arrival. We are going to be parents! Later in life, but we are up for it.

And so, to conclude, I want to end this dramatic blog revelation with a bit of humor. This is Part 1 of Episode 5 of Kids in the Hall’s Death Comes to Town. It’s almost 11 minutes long, and, oh, say around exactly the 4:47 minute mark, until exactly the 6:47 minute mark (only two minutes!) It is the humorousness of this that kept running through my mind after I ‘found out.’

Last Call For Alcohol

New Work

 

Urban-Tribesman-detail
Urban Tribesman, painting in progress.

Detail of Urban Tribesman. This guy could be from my town, he could be from L.A. He could be from Liverpool or Toronto or places in-between. But I will guess he is probably from Newark.

transvestikin
Transvestikin, oil on canvas, 24 x 30.

God bless Larry the Cable Guy. This was posted to his Facebook page. It’s a manikin displaying a colorful swimsuit. What’s wrong with that? Nothing at all! It appeared this was set in a major, cost-cutting department store, by the camping equipment and sportswear.

Dress-for-Sale-on-Ebay-Priceless
Dress For Sale on Ebay: Priceless, oil on canvas, 24×36″

I did not find this image. Someone else was shopping on Ebay, found this image and tweeted it. It’s a cute, little party dress up for bid. Is this the case of the accidental nudist taking a photo of her auction item? Or is it more accidental-on-purpose to get more attention and bids than the hundreds of other dresses in the online auction?

Art-Cat

And this is Jack, in the studio, taking a snooze break from all of this art appreciation. I call him Art Cat. Ever since he was a wee lad, he absolutely loves to hang out with you while you make paintings and drawings. His two roommate kitties don’t give a crap about you and your art. They are prissy, girl cats. Jack the Art Cat is the primo, Maine Coon, artist, bohemian, studly kitty cat and he is on Twitter @the_art_cat. He’s your typical lazy bones and only tweets when he’s not chillin’ about.

New Work

My Sketchbook is going out in the mail today!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well, here it is – my completed book. I created it in slideshow form especially for you.

This unique book has paint. It has ink from quills and felt tips. It has a little sewing. There are animals. There are people. Santa is in there. This sketchbook is a virtual cornucopia of media and it’s going on tour soon – this March!

My Sketchbook is going out in the mail today!

More Sketchbook and Welcome 2013

foosball

The other evening, I did some drawing for my Sketchbook while watching several episodes of Freaks and Geeks. I love that show. But anyway, above is from a photo I found on social media. It is part of my Life in 140 Characters theme.

reindeer-girl

Following Foosball Guys, I drew Reindeer Girl. I am fascinated by the Reindeer People and have been reading about their culture, which, very sadly, is in danger of becoming extinct.

I happenstanced on this photo on Facebook and collected it for my ongoing series.

One of these days, I will make it back to the studio to do more paintings. Currently, though, I’ve taken on a freelance project that is totally kicking my butt, so I’ve really only had time to watch Freaks and Geeks and draw in my Sketchbook.

And, tonight is New Years Eve. We, (my handsome man and I) will celebrate finishing the major haul of my freelance project by enjoying the snow outside and drinking sparkly wine, maybe a bit of absinthe, and eating fun party foods I remember from my childhood, such as pizza rolls and such. Terrrible, but soooo bad it’s pretty good. It’s okay, just this one time. Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone out there! World Peace! May the new year be the best yet!

More Sketchbook and Welcome 2013

More from the Sketchbook

wheres-the-mistletoe

The things we do to our dogs during the holiday season. I found the inspiration for this on Instagram. It’s part of my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2013. It started out as a blind contour drawing, which can be detected in the background, and then I went over that with quill pen and ink and colored in the nose. Simple as that! I think it’s funny.

scales

…another entry into my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. I came up with the idea to create some paper art upon waking up one morning. This sketchbook is my oyster and I’ll go ahead and create whatever my muse is at any given time.

More from the Sketchbook

The Fall of Orion, 2012

the-fall-of-Orion

This is a piece that also started Life in 140 Characters. It’s a precursor, I would say. A friend of mine posted a few photos of a buck he bagged on a hunting trip a few months ago. There was something about the downed deer that caught my imagination. It has symbolic meaning – more than just my buddy’s hunting photo. Out of curiosity, I looked to see if there was any symbolism to hunted deer, and came across the article “India and the Constellation Orion Myths,” by Paul Heckert. I found the story rather fascinating. It’s an ancient Hindu myth about Prajapati, which parallels the Greek myth of the constellation Orion, who fell in love with his daughter, the sky. In the Hindu myth, the sky, or Dawn, took the form of a doe. To capture his love, Orion becomes a stag to seduce her. The other gods weren’t happy with this relationship and they created a deity to shoot and kill the buck. So twisted and tragically romantic.

The Fall of Orion, 2012

A Peak Into My Sketchbook

merry-xmas

My artist friends have the best Facebook posts. Terry is a man I met last year through another good artist friend from school. I think his main media is film and I also happen to think he has a great sense of humor as demonstrated by his ‘nativity’ scene he posted.

I like to call the sketch for this “Merry X-mas.”

le-catalogue-tattoo

Then there is my friend, Stéphanie from France, who I went to art school with down in Savannah, Georgia. We kept in touch for little while after graduation, when she moved to Paris and I came back to Missouri. Then, she disappeared for several years. Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, we are back in contact! I love hearing how she’s doing and chatting with her from time to time.

She ‘liked’ a photo of a tattooed woman that I found to be quite striking. The lines on her body integrate beautifully with the lines drawn into her skin. We ladies are warned not to get tattoos because they are permanent and when we get older, the tattoo will look less than desirable. Whatever! This woman is on the other side of middle age and she and her tattoos are pure beauty. She is a work of art and I had to draw her. In the near future, I plan to do a giant painting.

A Peak Into My Sketchbook

dainty-detail

This is the piece that started my series of Life in 140 Characters and she now has a face. I don’t want this to be a portrait. It doesn’t look like the person in the photograph for a reason–because this is something I am making into my own interpretation. It’s a social media posting I’ve turned into art. It’s a magical thing.

Life in 140 Characters – so it begins

dainty

I’ve been goofing off with social media for the last couple years – tweeting, favoriting, liking, sharing funny videos and the social media list goes on. Before that, I had sworn I would never even start a Facebook account, but that’s where it began – being inspired by photos posted on my Facebook friends’ pages! I am fascinated by looking into the many windows to the souls of my Facebook friends. Some I know personally, and some I don’t, since they are either friends of friends or accounts of various businesses and personalities I am familiar with. There were two images that initally caught my interest in painting. One was a photo of two drag queens, so full of color and evocative of a lot of feelings, mostly fun and humor. Similar was the second image of a husband and wife couple dressed for a period party. The lady was in a puffy, Victorian style dress, with parisol and her hubby was in a Civil War military uniform. They were posing in their 1970s Rambler living room. I don’t know if I even have those images saved anywhere in my archives, but I do remember them and have been saving photos posted by me and other people around the world onto Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram.

I probably won’t put all of them to canvas or board. Only my favorites. Such as this one, currently in progress. I’ve come up with a title before starting this piece. “Dainty.” My friend, from art school, who’s last name I am using as the title, posted a photo of her daughter trying on a bright blue pair of 5 inch heels at a certain department store. The image and title mean many things that I want to convey. The painting isn’t complete, but soon will be and my goal is to endear it to the viewer in the same way it has to me. I like this one, it’s fun and light hearted, while at the same time bringing back memories from when I was becoming, (GASP!) a woman! Not an easy feat, NO!

Image

Did some artwork today. No walking the dog for me! Although I’m impressed with anyone in Kansas City who would go running or walking their dogs today!

#weloveourdogs #kansascity #kcdogs #originalart #fashionillustration #streetstyle #lifedrawing #mixedmedia #mixedmediaart #illustration #illustrator #dogs #dogwalker #terrier #jrt #citywalk #winterfashion #cosmolife #illustratedjournalism #peoplewatching

Did some artwork today. No walking the dog for me! Although I’m impressed with anyone in Kansas City who would go running or walking their dogs today!